Each month, our APSA Advocates answer your questions about workplace challenges, the AD 10 policies and how they’re applied.
Questions? Submit them anonymously here.
Hello, I'm Laya Behbahani, an advocate on APSA's Advocacy Committee. On behalf of the Committee, I'm answering your questions about your benefits and tuition waiver.
I've been having Mental Health issues because of the pandemic. I've used Homewood health before, but I didn't have a good experience with them. Are there other ways to support my Mental Health that's covered by APSA benefits?
One of our covered benefits is an annual $1,000 for a registered psychologist. We do understand that a psychologist can be very costly depending on their specialty and the treatment duration. Pacific Blue Cross also launched online programs in August 2020 that you can access and pay for using this benefit. You will still have to assess whether this is the right fit for you moving forward as it is online and uses cognitive behaviour therapy. Here's what Pacific Blue Cross says: "If you or a family member is suffering from mild to moderate anxiety, depression, insomnia, substance use, or stress disorder, our new cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) program coverages can help. You can now claim the cost of three new programs — AbilitiCBT by Morneau Shepell, ALAViDA, and BEACON —through your employer-sponsored benefits plan if it offers Psychology benefits."
Is my partner eligible for the tuition waiver? We've been living together for about two years and just got engaged in December.
According to AD 10.12, if you are a continuing employee, the tuition waiver includes your spouse. In AD 10.01, a spouse is: "a person to whom an Employee is legally married or a person with whom the Employee has co-habited for twelve (12) months in a marriage-like relationship and who is known in the community as the Employee's spouse or partner. Only one spouse is eligible for benefit coverage under this policy at any one time."
If you are a part-time employee, this benefit is pro-rated. I'd recommend that you fill out the Declaration of Co-Habiting Relationship form and submit it to HR.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact APSA. Your call or email is confidential.